Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2007, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (4): 479-486.doi: 10.1007/s11442-007-0479-x

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal differentiation of landscape ecological niche in western ecological frangible region: A case study of Yan’an region in northwestern China

REN Zhiyuan, WANG Lixia   

  1. College of Tourism and Environmental Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710062, China
  • Received:2007-04-06 Revised:2007-07-20 Online:2007-12-25 Published:2007-12-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40371003; Innovation Foundation of Shaanxi Normal University


In this study, we attempt to put forward a conception of landscape ecological niche, enlightened by international scholars on extending the ecological niche theory from spatial niche to functional niche. That is helpful for comprehensively appraising landscape spatial patterns and ecological functions, also, presents a new method for analyzing landscape fea-tures from multidimensional aspects. The practice process is demonstrated by taking Yan’an region in northwestern China as a case. Firstly, the indices system including spatial attribute and functional attribute is established for assessing landscape ecological niche. Additionally, two-dimensional figures are drawn for comparing the spatio-temporal features of landscape ecological niche in 1987 and 2000 among the 13 administrative counties. The results show that from 1987 to 2000, towards Yan’an region, spatial attribute value of landscape ecological niche changes from 1.000 to 1.178 with an obvious increment, and functional attribute value changes from 0.989 to 1.069 with a little increment, both of which enhance the regional landscape ecological niche. Towards each county, spatial attribute value of landscape eco-logical niche increases to different extent while functional attribute value changes dissimilarly with an increment or a decrement.

Key words: Yan’an region, landscape ecological niche, spatio-temporal differentiation